America250PA on Tuesday launched its Keystone Classroom Initiative at Gilbert Spruance Elementary School, 6401 Horrocks St.
The Keystone Classroom Initiative is a storytelling and visitation program for kindergarten through fourth-grade classrooms, children’s hospitals and youth camps across the state. Along with an age-appropriate historical reenactor, storyteller, local celebrity and/or mascot, America250PA will be visiting children across Pennsylvania to educate them about their shared Pennsylvania story as well as distribute an originally designed America250PA coloring book and other Pennsylvania treats in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026. Several volunteers and guest readers joined America250PA, including first lady Lori Shapiro, former Gov. Mark Schweiker, Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, state Reps. Jared Solomon, Regina Young and Morgan Cephas, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington and the Pennsylvania State Police.
“I am honored that the Keystone Classroom Initiative is launching right here at [Gilbert] Spruance Elementary in the most diverse community in our commonwealth,” said Solomon, an America250PA commissioner. “Spruance students will be able to learn about the unique history of Pennsylvania through interactive programming – learning how the next generation can learn the time-honored values of the past and how these values work into Pennsylvania’s new civic fabric.”
In addition, several mascots and characters helped to distribute America250PA swag bags to the students, including the Phillie Phanatic and the Barbera Bear.
In total, the program reached about 720 kindergarten to fourth-grade students.
“We are so excited to be a part of America250PA,” said principal Kwand Lang. “We are always looking for ways to expose our children to new and innovative experiences. Gilbert Spruance School is a very diverse school. Over 45% of our students speak a second language. We educate students born in many different countries of the world. Our diverse school culture represents the future of Philadelphia and is the perfect place to launch such an important program that celebrates our history while celebrating our present.”
To learn more, visit www.America250PA.org.